Overview As Nigeria’s leading business and financial daily, BusinessDay is taking the lead to set an agenda for food security and agricultural prosperity in Nigeria.
To this end, the company is organising the 2017 edition of the Agribusiness & Food Security Summit, themed; ‘Rethinking Nigeria’s Agribusiness systems: Making the case for resolving the nation's food security challenge’
FOCUS OF THE SUMMIT
The food deficit in Nigeria is far reaching; therefore, the summit will narrow down to some key issues to be given critical attention. The objective is to avoid just talking about the problems, rather, practical solutions towards boosting productivity within earliest possible time frames.
• Tackling Post harvest losses: Up to 60 percent of food produced in Nigeria is lost post harvest due to improper storage, inefficient supply chain systems, and generally, lack of infrastructure to ensure as much of what is produced gets utilized.
• Increasing value addition: This will complement reducing losses as the summit will strive to deliver practical outcomes which will ensure there is increased value addition in agro-production. This will on one hand help to address wastage, while at the same delivering higher returns for those in the agric value chain.
• Producing to meet international (and market specific) standards: Nigeria has been at a disadvantage in international trade in instances where some western countries find what has been produced to fall below their requirements. It has been noted that many farmers produce based on whatever input they find, whereas, more precision is needed in determination of what varieties to cultivate. The Nigerian Export Promotion Council will be co-opted in this summit, to provide adequate orientation on the modalities for exportation.
• Funding for agriculture, Insurance and the prerequisite of farmer education: Access to funding is critical for agricultural development on a large scale, but it has been observed that millions of farmers are not properly educated on general record keeping of their production (and monitoring their cash flow), a factor which limits their chances of getting access to funds.
• Increasing Production, not only in terms of overall output, rather, by fully optimizing yield per hectare. This will be given special attention through expert contributions from resource persons from countries where best results are being recorded.
• Some commodities will be given special attention as well in view of their crucial role in Nigeria’s food security, these include Rice; with 4 million metric tonne deficit, Tomato; 1.4 million metric tonne deficit, Chicken production; 60 million birds deficit, a gap filled by illegal imports that enter the market at lower price points than domestic products. Maize/corn; 500,000 metric tonne deficit, Oil Palm; 3.5 million ton deficit.
In view of the key areas identified, the summit will endeavour to provide answers on what is required to make agriculture a viable business in Nigeria. Critical issues on productivity and profitability will be addressed with a viewing to finding out ways to overcome them. Lastly, the summit will beam the spotlight on policies and regulatory frameworks required to create an enabling environment for the private sector to better drive agriculture in Nigeria.
In view of the key areas identified, the summit will endeavour to provide answers on what is required to make agriculture a viable business in Nigeria. Critical issues on productivity and profitability will be addressed with a viewing to finding out ways to overcome them.
The high post-harvest losses in Nigeria and achieving more value addition in agro-production will be given critical examination. In addition, the state of out-grower schemes across the country will be examined and the challenges limiting results.
Lastly, the summit will beam the spotlight on policies and regulatory frameworks required to create an enabling environment for the private sector to better drive agriculture in Nigeria.